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Essential CV Advice

09 September, 2014 | In: News, The Training Room

Studying for vocational skills is just the start of your journey along a successful career path and you’ll need guidance every step of the way, not only to ensure you’re applying for the right jobs, but to make sure your applications are as strong as they possibly can be.

And that’s where The Training Room can help. Not only will we train you to succeed in your chosen field, we’ll also give you the tools to secure a job - one of the most effective of which is a good CV. So here is some essential CV advice.

Get the basics right

There is no right or wrong way to write a CV, but you should always get the basics right and at least include the following information: personal and contact details, education, qualifications and achievements, work experience and history, relevant skills, interests and hobbies, and finally references.

Keep it concise

Getting a job is as tough as it’s ever been, meaning employers will be sifting through more CV’s than ever - so they won’t want to have to wade through pages and pages to get the details they need.

An effective CV will make its points clearly and concisely, so avoid waffling and aim for no more than two pages of A4.

Get the presentation right

Once you’ve got the contents right, don’t undo all that good work by botching the presentation - set it out in a logical order (as above) and include the most important information in the upper, middle area of the CV as this is where the interviewer’s eye will naturally fall.

Print it in black ink on white paper, choosing a clear, classic font and avoiding anything too quirky. And never hand it in crumpled or folded - if you’re posting it, send it in an A4 envelope with your cover letter.

Keep it up to date

If there are unexplained gaps in your employment history then this will instantly arouse suspicion in prospective employers, so make sure it’s fully up to date and any breaks in employment are explained.

And keeping your CV regularly updated means it won’t be missing any recent skills or experiences - for instance, any voluntary work or travelling - that could give you the edge over other applicants.

Get the references right

When choosing your references it’s important to pick someone who’s employed you in the past, who can back up what you’ve written in your CV and with whom you’ve had a good working relationship.

Ideally, you should include two references, and if you’re applying for your first job you can name a teacher or tutor. And always make sure your references agree to be named on your CV before sending it off and that they’re aware they could be contacted by your potential employer.

Keep it relevant

Once you have your CV written, you can then go about tailoring it to make it relevant to specific jobs you’re applying for - you have a much better chance of getting an interview if your application is as relevant to the role as possible. At this stage, look at the requirements and job specifications and make sure you detail how you fit each.

So instead of firing of a one-size-fits-all CV (employers can spot this a mile off), you should adapt the details to make it relevant to the job you’re applying for as this will set you apart as a much stronger candidate. It really pays to take the time to tailor it to each job you’re applying for.

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